Paperback, 352 pages

English language

Published April 20, 2019 by Faber & Faber, Limited.


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4 stars (1 review)

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

9 editions

Strange artefact

4 stars

Not sure where to begin... First, after reading some ten pages of this novel you discover the importance of the paragraph, for here they are few and far in between. So reading the whole thing (352 pages) is reading a wall of text. It's like a marathon and you never know if you'll be able to hold on until the next paragraph. Second the language is surprising. Like English at the time of Cavern man: Me husband, you wife, she older daughter, she middle daughter, them wee daughters. But allow me to quote her: "After a pause brother-in-law said he was going to beat him up all the same. ‘Not necessary,’ I said. ‘Still,’ he said. ‘Ach,’ I said. ‘Ach nothing,’ he said. ‘Ach sure,’ I said. ‘Ach sure what?’ he said. ‘Ach sure, if that’s how you feel.’ ‘Ach sure, of course that’s how I feel.’ ‘Ach, all right …


  • Northern ireland, fiction
  • Fiction, coming of age
  • Fiction, psychological